Licensees say 'no' to all new pubs

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Concerns have been raised about cut price booze prices in the area
Concerns have been raised about cut price booze prices in the area

Related tags Cumulative impact policy Merseyside

Pubs in St. Helens have taken the unusual step of backing new measures that would make it more difficult to open new pubs and bars in the town centre.

Police officers are pushing to introduce a Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP), which restricts the growth of licensed premises and allows the local authority to consider the impact of pubs on the Merseyside community before granting licences.

One local licensee, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: ​ “Many towns have recovered from the recession but St Helen’s hasn’t. It’s the right thing to do to try and stop more bars opening. The sheer amount of pubs and bars opening leads to silly drink prices with a lot of places selling all draught at £2 or even under.

“There are so many bars in St. Helens for sale so why do people think it’s a good place to open a bar? Where’s the sense in it? If anyone were to take a walk around the town on a Friday night they would see the madness for themselves. I don’t normally agree with the council, but I support them on this.”

In a report submitted to the council, chief superintendent Julie Cooke said: “Despite significant progress, alcohol related harm continues to be a major source of concern in St Helens.”

Licensing solicitor Andy Grimsey from the PMA’s​ legal specialist Poppleston Allen added: “There is always a danger in imposing a CIP of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, in that responsible operators who wish to extend their hours or open new premises in such an area are prevented from doing so whilst less responsible operators can continue to trade simply because they were there first.”

A St Helens Council spokesperson said: "The Licensing & Environmental Protection Committee agreed at a meeting to go out to consultation on a proposal from Merseyside Police for the Council to adopt a Special Cumulative Impact Policy in a designated area of St. Helens Town Centre.  The Police submitted evidence in support of the proposal including crime and disorder statistics.

According to a local newspaper, the area is among the ten local authorities in England with the highest rates for alcohol related admissions to hospital.

Similar measures suggested in the London borough of Hackney drew heated protests from locals and bar owners, who argued that proposals to close new bars at midnight would take the area back to the 1980s. 

Related topics Legislation

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